When I was growing up, we typically had uneventful Christmas celebrations. There was really nothing exciting about Christmas because we didn’t have special meals like other families. My siblings and I just ate whatever meal was available on that day. However, we knew our neighbours always prepared fried rice and chicken, and we were certain that they would send some to us. So we always anticipated it.
We had gotten used to this until one of my uncles came to live with us. At that time, we had a cat as a pet. The first Christmas with my uncle turned out differently than normal.
We had prepared our minds to eat garri and soup as usual, when my uncle asked me to follow him to the market. I excitedly went with him only to observe that he was buying items for rice and stew, but he didn’t buy any meat. When I asked him, he said there was meat at home. I was surprised because I didn’t know about any such provision.
When we got home, my uncle asked us to bring the cat. To our shock, he said that it would serve as our Christmas meat. He put it in a sack, explaining that cats are killed differently from other animals. After tying the sack, he threw heavy bricks on it until the cat died.
For the first time in my life, I ate rice, stew and cat meat! It tasted so good. Although it wasn’t an expected meal, or even the one we had hoped for, it sufficed.
As an adult, I am not sure I can eat cat meat but I’m grateful that my uncle, who is late now, spiced up our Christmas that year. He gave us a remarkable experience by making us taste cat meat.